Thursday, 6 January 2011

Rock Climbing in Snowdonia - My Favourite Routes

I've been sitting at home feeling sorry for myself as I can't go out winter climbing with one hand in a cast so I thought I would write a wee blog about my top 5 favourite rock climbs in Snowdonia. These are routes which I can go back to again and again and still enjoy them as much as the first time. They aren't necessarily the hardest or scariest routes I've done, or routes that I have been most proud of climbing but routes that I will hopefully still enjoy in 30 years time!

Christmas Curry Micah Finish - HS, Tremadog

This was probably my 3rd ever lead and I can still quite vividly remember the feeling of balancing my way up the top arete with the gear well beneath my feet and an amazing feeling of space around me. Its a great little climb - its probably best done in 2 pitches with the second pitch containing the meat of the route.

Outside Edge Route - VDiff, Cwm Silyn

This is my favourite VDiff in Snowdonia. Its tucked away from the main climbing areas of Snowdonia and is a great place to go to seek a little solitude. It takes an impressive line up the left edge of the great slab of Crag yr Ogof in Cwm Silyn. I love it when a route goes through terrain that looks far harder and steeper than the grade suggests. Its best climbed on a sunny afternoon once the sun has come round onto the slab and the views down the Llyn Peninulsula can be enjoyed to the fullest.

Cemetry Gates - E1, Dinas Cromlech

I have lost track of how many times I have climbed this route now. Its a bit of a rite of passage for me every spring. Dinas Cromlech is a massive fortress of rock that towers over the Llanberis pass and is home to probably the most famous route in the UK - Cenotaph Corner. Cemetry Gates takes a series of cracks up the right arete of the corner and will thrill you with steep moves, big holds and plenty of exposure!

North West Passage - E1 Castell Helen, Gogarth

Sea cliff climbing is probably my favourite genre of rock climbing. Nothing beats hanging out on big holds with the sun on your back over the sparkling sea. North West passage can be found on Castell Helen - one of the more friendly of the Gogarth cliffs. A steady first pitch leads you to a perfect belay ledge where you can chill out and enjoy the awesome coastal scenery. The second pitch then follows a traverse line right before climbing up the headwall on big holds and solid rock with the Irish Sea along way beneath your feet. Perfect.

Comes the Dervish - E3, Vivian Quarry

The Slate route that started a revolution. This awesome line can be seen from Llanberis and the crack it climbs was originally cleaned out using a knife from Pete's cafe prior to its ascent! I first climbed it back in University and it was a bit of a milestone for my climbing. I like it so much as its a route that just calls out to be climbed - the more you look at it the more it sucks you in and before you know it you will making those first tentative moves upwards in search of that first piece of gear...


Rory said...

If you like the look of these routes and fancy being guided up them or you want to learn the skills to climb them by yourself check out my rock climbing page for more information.

Greg Cain said...

photo pikey! ;)

lee woo said...

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